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Grateful Dead Live at Tacoma Dome on 1988-08-26

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Grateful Dead Live at Tacoma Dome on 1988-08-26

Topics Live concert

Hell In A Bucket, Sugaree, Good Time Blues, Iko Iko, Walkin' Blues, When Push Comes To Shove, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Row Jimmy, The Music Never Stopped China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Playin in the Band> Uncle John's Band> Drums> Space> Touch of Grey> I Need a Miracle> Black Peter> Lovelight, E: Black Muddy River

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Tacoma Dome
Location Tacoma, WA

Source FOB Schoeps CMC34 --> Sony PCM-601ES --> DAT


FOB Schoeps CMC34 --> Sony PCM-601ES --> DAT; Seeded to etree by Bill Gardner


Reviewer: Thad - - August 31, 2016
Subject: Surprised
They had such problems with the sound. I can think of three big name acts I saw at this venue during this period (Petty/Dylan, the Who, ZZ Top) and I don't think any of them had great sound, but it was not a big negative either. In fact that Who show I remember sounded great. I even saw an extremely loud Van Halen show there and it sounded tremendous.
Reviewer: Ray Sachs - favorite - July 7, 2015
Subject: Hearing Loss
I'm in my mid 50's now and I've lost a bit of my high end, and I think most of the damage happened at this show. I saw them first in '77 and this Tacoma show was almost my last. The sound was soooo terrible that I actually have no memory of whether the show was worth a damn or not. I've never felt actual excruciating physical pain from high volume before that night, but I just wanted OUT of that place it was so bad. I actually left early, disgusted. The only time that EVER happened with a Dead show.

I started seeing them again in '93 after we'd moved to the east, and I stayed in until the end, not because they were much good, but because it was pretty clear Jerry was a finite resource that wasn't gonna be around very long and I wanted to soak up as much as I could. But this show just about blew it for me. All of the good "comeback" vibes from '87 were shot, Jerry was back on the junk, and this show about killed it for me. I'm listening to it now and it's kind of typical semi-OK GD when you don't have to worry about physical pain. But I can't get past the bad memories...
Reviewer: stratmang2 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 12, 2015
Subject: My first show
I had never really paid much attention to The Dead until a roommate asked me if I wanted to see a show. I had heard about the experience but wasn't really familiar with the music. The big plus for me was Carlos Santana opening the show.

A short drive and a couple of tokes later I was blown away by the Dead experience. I still wasn't hip to the music but I sure did enjoy watching the scantly dressed girls dancing. I caught another show a while later and thought it sucked (turns out it was a bad night... I found that show too).

25 years later I was reintroduced to the music and this time it stuck. I now listen to old shows weekly and have begun to play (on guitar and with a band) many of the songs. I'm so happy I could locate my first show. My only regret now is not having followed The Dead earlier in my life.
Reviewer: TDCarowindz - - August 26, 2013
Subject: a nod to missNjerry
yup, occasionally you get your finger on the pulse of things, you got the gist of it, more people should read your post
Reviewer: missNjerry - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2012
Subject: taLent eludes us...
how is it,that theRes aLwayz that one person...but,hardLy eVer the same one that has seen 100+shows,and youd have to assume,jusT personally speakin,wouLd giVe up a testical..(or an arm or leg for all the beautiful sisterz with the saMe understanding)...just to increase his or her number by one...and whiLe theRe at the show..make the baNd pLay one moRe song,if taKes aLL niTe Long...and that,is what waS like they say is that,from show/venue number 1...and then lisTen yrz laTer...and have to TRY and find whaT may or may not be what jerry wanTed to play..or at times lost for woRds to songz,that WE as fans,deadicated to a reason that hasnt yet been described with the wordz we all try and lost too are we ...songz we know,like as if written,cuz strangly enuff they weRe familiar,so much so..we'd been theRe before,but hadnt looked at it right to recall honestly...tho,HE HAD...and yeah,wheN thingz are the way they are becuz of a choice made at,4..i believe and asked mom a guitar,and she got a squeezebox instead...its when he took the xmas present back to the music store cuz it wasnt whaT inheritly would change his life and ours,only he didnt set out for fame...or leader of the band and would NEVER refer to self as such....cuz perfection is a fault..and that he was talented enuff to realize,perfection aLso is a myth onLy fooLs try to emulate...besides,it was only and totaly about the way it made u feel and ..cuZ,play guitar= pussy ...even the non talented know that..loL...being said,no musician will ever come off stage thinking he or she had just given their all...and that perfection defined the show..or song or even one noTe...and when I read the posts typed with the eloquence of a baboon,by someone who'd seen thingz and heard the same show,been to the same shows,knowing they left with the same undeniable grin..ear to fuckin ear as I had..and as did many...(then,theRe weRe those who had no choice...i too,was encouraged to smile,it was the water)anywho...its... only yearz laTer wheN heaRing whaT enhanced high def audio and eq's bring into the musIc,thaT for no other reason except,cuz we simply felt we NEEDED to be theRe...wouLd driVe coast2coast for,moRe times than youR vehicLe had spare engines for...not to mention.. everything,aLways seemed on the path,id only heard of such path,but a 9to5 job and two days for R and R seemed awfully short,not to mention a wife...and kids??? not liFe as I looked upon the worLd ..and theRes your 1st show,and not to beLieVe that a bigger moRe confusing life waS right in front of you..and IT FOUND YOU...and a guy,Jerry his naMe.."Captain"trips to some...but,afraid of how being capTain..or leader would change whaT had been havin fun,impressing young girlz on saturday niTe..into 165,000+day in and out...musically unheard of on the music charts scoring only the one top10,yet topping the charts of any all bands that toured in attendance by margins even elvis,beatles, or whoever could compete with..becuz one thing was missing...they only sold tix for concerts...just music...Grateful Dead sold a ticket to ride!...and it seemed like magIc was I remembered as beIng so facsinating,yet without words to explain its way of grabbing all those who beLieved in the power of what a smiLe on a boys face can do...especially,when that sMiLe ignites meaning and worth sorry for all the leading...though finished im not...but,how why is posting one mistake,faults or simply the effects of beIng himseLf..hes a musician..a magic maker..hes Light at the end of a long dark fuckin tunnel..and together they changed music...and lives...didnt need a top.40 hit when it didnt need a filled the mindz of those before me,spreading word of mouth kept what hurts any beautiful creation...perfection...jerry always took his guiTar ...from gibsons and les wolf to bolt...creaTed by a stranger,outta kindness and what bettet to give back,to the one who made a believer out of a cabinet/firework which without the."inspiration"..whos to say wheRe paths woulda ended...with all that seemz to be nothing short of greatness and ability to steal the hearts of so many people and in its place filled it with feeling of emotion that cant be obtained...its material that a ticket could buy...its LoVe on a scaLe NO chart on the radio can possibly make mistakes is what makes everything so beautiful when...if the closest I ever get to perfection is the time spent traveling with the grateful dead the music that seemed almost written for me..and also fortunately for thousands of others...then if im wrong about believing that heaven and hell were pages torn from mother goose,ok..if not,atleast comparing the two will keep me busy in also assured me that there is good people everywhere...and the what if whispers,speaking on terms on a grand scale..the world could be better,becuz of US!...cuz to say,the worLd is unpredictable and an understatement..and its the few perfect ones who seem hell bent on keepin it that way...when,it is really as easy as a smile...and the want to put one on the person next to you...its contagious..addictive..and nothing cures anything like something....with a reason to be NICE...all of which weRe done outta want from the heart of a man whos way of life was not so perfect,noT so clean cut..and not so fortunate to escape disease and addiction,that alone destroys entire dreams..along with people that slept through them so they could be enjoyed by them...yet,he surrounded himself with those people,and became they reason and he did what he wanted...played guitar,for us.. those whose ear was benT,to hear His tune...if thats not enuff to overlook..or let go of..or just change your mind..before pointing out a wrong note or lyric....think of why he did things his way...and that a weight sat on his shoulders we as a whole would turn away from with quickness that even the monkey that also sat upon his shoulder,would let go of...meaning ,he have to choose between playin guitar and the music that gave reason to all withen earshot of it....nothing can be more hateful and wwrong than to say his mistakes and miscues..or his appearance...anyone,myself included had bad hair days on tour..dreads dont like combs...and most of all his untimely death was directly in result of an addiction...let the good shine through...without nitpickimg a song he fucked up in 1985!!...youDe think it was who wrote and composed the music we all love...but,if im wrong About ANYTHING...i know that jerry talent wasnt his imperfection,talent isnt somethimg you lose,and taking what you know to be the sweetest sound to ever have graced your fucking ears and mind and blaming an addiction thats purpose is to destroy a life in ways im all too familiar with....yet when you got to the show...he never let you down,he was there..and like the post prior...i too never left a bad grateful dead fact,im convinced that hearing loss is to blame for not so nice comments for a majority..the ones with sence to know when to shut up...becuz even a smartass baboon,who acts like he knows everything..always had a monkey that could always smack some sense back in..and put him back in his place in the order of confuses perfection...a happy,wrong none the less....leave your complaints where they are...and tell us why u Love him..nobodys perfect
Reviewer: panoman - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2012
Subject: This was when I found home.
Even though the Takomadome sucks for sound it was my first Dead show. I then saw around 100+ shows and had the schoolbus Traveling in the Grey and road my six foot unicycle around the lots. did tour from 89-92
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 12, 2011
Subject: My 5th show
A solid 2.75 stars for effort despite the lousy acoustics of the venue and horrible sound problems. I enjoyed it, though; I was high as a kite, standing just a few people back from the stage, smack dab in front of Garcia with a good view of both him and Hart. I don't mind saying that Santana kicked the Dead's ass this night, but I peaked during Sugaree. I saw every expression on Garcia's face, including the pained, apologetic grimace when blaring gouts of feedback howled through his mic and threatened to explode our skulls at the end of Sugaree. The jam during Playin' was loud and obnoxious, very fitting for the room, and I thought that was pretty cool. But as some reviewers have theorized, and as I can attest to for a fact, Garcia at least was not having a good time and couldn't wait to get off stage. This recording is tinny and needs EQing, not unlike the show itself. I don't think it sucked, and I don't know if it was the worst I ever saw, but I only find it remarkable for the memories; there are so many better shows. I was deliriously still singing the second song as we headed out that night and drove to Eugene for the next one, and my friends thought that was hilarious.
Reviewer: unbrobenchain???mighthavejustbroke - favorite - May 28, 2011
Subject: "." Nonintuitive
"." Nonintuitive
Reviewer: pakmule - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 19, 2010
Subject: The Largest Wooden Dome Earth
I agree, that the sound was pretty darn good up front where I was, and the tape came out great! Santana did not sound at all like the Dead, which was unfortunate. Wiki Tacoma Dome for all the details about the structure, as it is unique.

As far as the HHM in Minneapolis, the echos were so very bad that even up front there were echo's and feedback. As I recall, when Petty and Dylan were playing, the speaker stacks made a most ???HORRIBLE NOISE???, which only added to the confusion and audio nightmare for all parties! Definitely the worst sounding structure that I have EVER heard!

Back to Tacoma.........the moon over Mt. Rainer in the night sky background after the show was certainly a highlight for me, as it was natures beauty at it's finest! I would go back and do it again, if I could, who wouldn't ??
Reviewer: gr8fulpair - - July 29, 2010
Subject: Gimme a break......
Hey JBOYAGUAR, (aka douche bag) there is no bad sex and there are no bad Grateful Dead shows, just varying degrees of great. Take your Websters New World Dictionary, your third grade writing skills and get a life.
Reviewer: GHoltz - - January 29, 2010
Subject: Worst Venue Ever? Try this one...
Worst = HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Grateful Dead opened for Bob Dylan & Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. The Dead played long set, with an awkward switch from 1st set songs to second set format .. Mexicali Blues > Terrapin Station??

The place is an early, HUGE Dome Football Stadium, with a VERY significant echo that sustained a long time, bleeding into the music being played. It sounded decent for the tapers down front down front, as one of the circulating sources demonstrates. The other copy is a bit farther back, and the echo is more prominent, but to the VAST majority of the crowd, the sound was one musically sounding echo.....echo .. echo

Give it a try:

1 //Gimme Some Lovin' >
02 Sugaree >
03 Little Red Rooster
04 Iko Iko
05 tuning
06 My Brother Esau
07 Tennessee Jed
08 Me And My Uncle >
09 Mexicali Blues
01 Terrapin Station >
02 Estimated Prophet >
03 Dru//ms >
04 Space >
05 The Wheel >
06 Truckin' >
07 Black Peter >
08 Around And Around >
09 Sugar Magnolia


10 Brokedown Palace*
Reviewer: Samcigar - - December 23, 2008
Subject: I was there too..
I remember feeling bad for Santana because I thought they used him for a sound check. The sound was the shittiest I've ever heard. We had a great time during space sitting by the doors watching people rushing out holding their ears!
Oh bother...
Reviewer: laptap3r - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 25, 2008
Subject: Kudos to the taper
Gonna buck the trend here and give this recording four stars, just for the quality. I've seen far worse-sounding recordings get rated much higher than this. All the instruments and vocals are clear as bell and could easily be mistaken for an FM broadcast. Haven't listened all the way through to it, but I'll start doing so now. Anyway, this is going up on Thanks again to the taper for some fine quality recording!
Reviewer: Drumheadz - favorite - March 19, 2008
Subject: The worst
The best thing about this show -
The drive from Tacoma down along the coast of Oregon to catch Eugene.
Oh! and Santana was good!
Reviewer: rebelfish - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 8, 2007
Subject: It Wasn't That Bad
I've got to agree with kikibobo, I think this show has gotten kicked a little too hard. As far as sound quality of the download, I've downloaded shows here that had worse quality yet better reviews. After "good time blues" the show for me is quite listenable on cd.
As far as the band...Yeah, Santana was great, but the Dead were pretty damn good too. I had an excellent time at the show and I'd venture to guess that the majority of the people in the dome did also. I admit, it wasn't their very best performance ever, but it certainly wasn't the worst either. All in all I think it was a pretty rockin' show. If every performance over the years was just spot on perfect...Hell, that's impossible! Let's give 'em a break.
Anyways I enjoy the show and will continue to listen to it, give it a try. On a side note, I don't recall it raining cats and dogs that night as a previous reviewer mentioned. The whole summer in tacoma was hot and dry. It was sunny when we got to the show, and I didn't get wet hitching a ride to Porland after the show in the back of a pick-up. (not saying you're wrong though, it was 19 years ago after all.)
Reviewer: jakevito - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 13, 2006
Subject: the T-Dome
i havent listened to the show, but people are right when they say the walls seemed to absorb sound. the t-dome is made of wood unlike most domes. that changes the sound, and definatly accounts for some absorption.
Reviewer: Taboma - favorite - November 11, 2006
Subject: I was there
The boys were playing like soloists that night.
Reviewer: WarfRat - favoritefavorite - September 26, 2006
Subject: Seemed like it might be alright....
Listening to it today it sounds bad but that night it was awful. The weather was crappy, the traffic was a mess,It was raining cats and bongs, but inside the dome it seemed like it might be alright. Santana was great, he was as good as good can be. Then the boys came out and they were horrible. The mix was all f*cked up. Jerry was out of step. It was like they all got lost. Basically the energy was all wrong. I always refer to it as the worst show I ever saw and it surely was.
But thanks for putting it out here.
Reviewer: elswinger - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 3, 2006
Subject: My first time
I haven't heard the mp3s but I was at the show. For a first timer it was an excellent show, though I confess, some stranger gave me a bunch of mushrooms and like a foolish freshman and ate them. What a long strange trip indeed! Jerry turned into a giant bear and Bob turned into Gerald Ford.

The original (?) Santana band opened and they were awesome (see mushrooms).

I thought the song selection was excellent and it made me go out and buy all the albums up to Blues for Allah.
Reviewer: jboyaquar - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 18, 2006
Subject: Skippable but not a Bust; Jerry had a difficult time both singing and playing
This three night set is getting the highest of recommendations. (wink-wink)
1st Set: Bobby's in good voice during a cluttered slightly unfocused but harder rocking and more exciting "Hell" than Monterey. Its partner "Sugaree" is airy, (terrible flub at 11:13 and later on) and long (13 minutes plus) but the drummers make sure it's never sluggish. It's time for Brent to share with us some of his "Good Time Blues." Now there's whole lot of nothing goin on here, but it's all listenable because of the brisk tight pace of the drummin. "Iko" is similiarly appealing and yet empty. At least they're consistent, "Walkin." More innocuous white-meat blah with "Push." From the sounds of this recording, is 'the Dome' one of those ultra-spacious arenas built of the 70s? I ask because this recording, although clean - if too high on the treble, sounds remote. "Masterpiece" is fine, but it sounds as if Bobby's shouting rather than singing. Despite flowing, "Row"'s instrumentation is dull; Jerry seems uninterested in providing the requisite effort tonight. And he's certainly not capable of providing any muscle behind his solos and the groove established by the band during the set closing "Music." Some decent twilling and highs achieved, but it's everyone besides Jer.

2nd Set: About thirty seconds is clipped off of "China." Don't doubt the band's capabilities tonight - Jerry's in and out...he does manage to make the ending climax exciting. Like most of the show, Jerry will spend thirty seconds blahly ruminating and use that pontification into a thread of notes that inspires glee because the band has fashioned a solid backdrop. "Playin"'s song is danceable. There are enough 'alerting' noises during the next five minutes so I'm never bored. Jerry does need help though singing and leading the way during "UJB." "Drums" is filled wioth more Geisha-lite stylings (what is that xylophone type of instrument Mickey is playing?) Generic toolings during "Space" lead to a rare "Touch" emerging out of noiseland. Odd choice especially considering Mr. Garcia's fallability with mustering the requisite vocal energies to sing a song. However, it could be said that Jer was aware of his faults tonight and chose the song to egg himself on or as a reminder that he still had almost seven years of life ahead of him. Anyways, "Miracle" does its crowd-pleasing job; gotta admire Bobby for not minding pandering. Parts of this "Black" are sour and just painful to listen to... 'see how everything..leads us to this day...' parts are standard. "Lovelite" is fine and gets the crowd semi-frenzied.

More "Black" this of the 'Muddy' type...ehhh dragged out sticky - not needed.

2 3/5th stars rounded up cause I learned something in fifth grade.
Reviewer: wavelicious - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 22, 2005
Subject: Aromadome
I remember a couple bad things about this show -- the stench outside, the gut-wrenching death from some bad paper, and wishing Jerry would just get off the stage during the super messed-up Space.
And tough hitchiking to get there and back from Vancouver.
But it wasn't all bad.
And I think something's missing. I seem to recall the whole first set starting and ending with Lovelight?!? But that's not the case here...
Reviewer: liranfa - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2005
Subject: Enormodome?
The funny thing about this show is that the sound really sucked for the most part. The versions of songs were played pretty well including "Touch of Grey" out of space. What's humorous is that Santana opened and the sound was GREAT!!!! Santana played a full 2 hour set and really ripped it up. The sound was not an issue for Carlos and Co. so it cracks me up that the band with the best equipment in the land sounded awful....and yes, there were massive problems during "Sugaree" but the band prevailed. Long show,...the 2nd set didn't start until midnight which made me think they were going to open up the 2nd set with "In the Midnight Hour"...but it didn't happen.
Reviewer: kikibobo - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 16, 2005
Subject: I like this show
This is a very unusual show, and I think is getting a bad rap. The acoustics were definitely a challenge to work with, but you'll never hear them sound like this anywhere else. The Row Jimmy I love, and the space is really, well, spacey. For me, not the worst venue ever.
Reviewer: allyeds3 - favorite - January 15, 2005
Subject: i saw this show
And yes, it sucked. The walls seemed to absorb all the energy. Although Santana opened and they truley rocked. I think the Dead had a hard act to follow that night. A very forgetful show.
Reviewer: EABOD - favorite - August 15, 2004
Subject: OH My God!!!!
Does anyone remeber the really nasty Fog horn sound during Sugaree almost bursted an ear drum. Absolutly the worst Dead show I attended plus my girlfriend got peed on inside the show by some lameass jerk. Thank God they some what made up for it in Eugene.
Reviewer: inside straight - favorite - July 23, 2004
Subject: Not worth it
Agreed that the Tacoma Dome is a terrible venue for the Dead, but they played a lackluster show with a terrible house mix. Sounds like the board mix corrected some serious imbalances. Live, Brent's piano overpowered everybody. We all walked out of the show saying "What the hell was THAT?" (BTW - Santana opened the night with nice stretched-out songs.)
Reviewer: tripel - favorite - July 23, 2004
Subject: Worst venue ever for a Dead show?
..although I'm sure some of those enormo-domes they played in in the 90s would stake a claim to that title..

Have very little recollection of this show...kinda ho-hum
Reviewer: tripel - favorite - July 23, 2004
Subject: Worst venue ever for a Dead show?
..although I'm sure some of those enormo-domes they played in in the 90s would stake a claim to that title..

Have very little recollection of this show...kinda ho-hum
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